August 1, 2010

HealingHeartPower Newsletter

Reclaiming the Power of the Heart
In This Issue
Getting A Grip in a Climate of Money Chaos
The Good Life is Not a Problem-Free Life
The Power of Appreciation and Gestures of Goodwill
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About Linda
Me and Flora

Linda Marks, MSM, is pioneer in body psychotherapy who has developed, taught and practiced Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy (EKP) for more than two decades.

Author of LIVING WITH VISION and HEALING THE WAR BETWEEN THE GENDERS, she co-founded the Massachusetts Association of Body Psychotherapists and Counseling Bodyworkers and is the founder of the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network. She holds degrees from Yale and MIT, and has a vital 14-year-old son.

To find out more about Linda . . .

HealingHeartPower Calendar
Would you like to learn how to do Emotional Kinesthetic Psychotherapy

Applications are being accepted for the 2010 EKP Apprenticeship Program. The apprenticeship group meets once a month for a weekend training session beginning in September 2010. For more information, contact or call Linda at (617)965-7846.

If you would like to apprentice in EKP and get involved before September, you may want to consider participating in a half-day EKP workshop or a special seminar for current apprentices.

The Thursday night EKP Therapy Group has room for another member. If you would like to be part of a committed long-term group using EKP, this is a very special group. An interview and one EKP session are required to apply. Contact Linda if you are interested at

  August 25th
"Emotional Safety:  What It Is and Why It Matters" at the "Safe For All" Conference sponsored by the Newton Partnership.
 September 1st
Presentation for the Worcester Holistic Moms Network,
"What DO We Really Need?" For more info, contact

September 11th
EKP Clinic Day featuring free 60 minute EKP sessions facilitated by EKP apprentices. To sign up for a session contact

September 25th
EKP Community Clinic at the Spirit of Change Expo in Sturbridge, MA. Linda will also do a workshop on "Healing and Nourishing Your Heart."

September 26th
Special workshop on Making Peace With Money 1 - 3 pm at the Spirit of Change Expo in Sturbridge.

If you are interested in being part of an on-going EKP group that meets once a month, let me know. We had run a Sunday EKP Process group for many years, and could consider forming another one, if there is interest. Whether your schedule is too busy for a weekly group, or you live far enough away that a monthly session is more sustainable, if a monthly group would best meet your needs, we can try to put one together.

EKP opportunities in Newton include:
* Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
* On-going Thursday night EKP Body Psychotherapy Group
* Apprenticing in EKP

If you would like a Healing the Traumatized Heart workshop near you, or have a group of people who you would like to bring EKP to, please contact

To find out more . . .

This newsletter has a new, fresh look, thanks to the work of Celinda Shannon.  When I first started writing this newsletter, about 3 1/2 years ago, Constant Contact had far fewer templates and I have come to see that the protocols for writing and editing newsletters have also evolved!

As we all know, there is nothing constant in life, but change! 
I hope you do enjoy this new format, which will allow articles to be "shorter" by filling a whole page, rather than running on and on in one column. 
If you want to develop or enhance your e-communication tools (newsletters, events flyers and more), Celinda is a great, knowledgeable and customer service-oriented resource.  Her website is
Reader Glenn Koenig responded to last issue's article on the bullying epidemic with a link to a page he has created on his website with bullying resources.  He started it in response to a series of articles in Boston Globe, where the writers conveyed the message that no one any idea of solutions to the growing bullying problem. 
You can read Glenn's ideas and resources at:

On August 25, I will be giving a talk on "Emotional Safety:  What It Is and Why It Matters" at the "Safe For All:  Creating Healthy Environments to Achieve School Success" conference, sponsored by the Newton Partnership.

Saturday, August 28, I will be hosting Tantra teacher, Rama Maya Kaur Yonika, who will be leading a workshop from 1 - 4 pm on "Self-Love, Sacred Relationships and Sexual Healing."  When I hosted Baba Dez a number of years back, Maya taught with him.
I will be giving an intensive workshop on "Making Peace With Money" at the Spirit of Change Natural Living Expo on September 26 in Sturbridge, MA.
On September 25, I will also be doing a talk on "Healing and Nourishing the Heart" at the Spirit of Change Natural Living Expo.
While I have been working with money matters for over 25 years, I am finding myself in a new cycle of my own introspection as I start focusing on Alex's college years, which will begin in 4 years.
The first article in this newsletter, "Getting A Grip in a Climate of Money Chaos," reflects some of my more recent reflective travels. 
It seems a theme for this issue is "getting grounded in a complicated world."  Our media culture has sold us a lot of images that just aren't real.  Too much energy can be spent chasing fantasies that are elusive and not necessarily rewarding.  And while doing so, we may take small yet meaningful actions, our own and others', for granted. 
Articles that address this theme are: "The Good Life Is Not a Problem-Free Life" and "The Power of Appreciation and Gestures of Goodwill."

We are doing another EKP Community Clinic on Saturday, September 11 from 11 am - 5 pm in Newton. If you would like a session, contact  

In an effort to create more ways to connect with community members, dialogue and share ideas, I have created a new blog at Sign up for new posts and please add your thoughts to discussion threads.

You can also "like us" on our HealingHeartPower  Facebook page. By "liking us", you will be notified whenever a new blog post is published.

Your comments and feedback are always welcome!



What is EKP?
EKP is Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy, a heart-centered, body-centered psychotherapy method Linda Marks developed and has taught and practiced for nearly twenty years. Working with the heart, touch with permission, the wisdom of the body and the intuitive guidance of the spirit, EKP creates a special sense of intimacy that deeply touches and transforms most all who participate.

Participants can be "client," witness or helper as an individual group member has a "turn" to do deeper heart-centered, body-centered psychospiritual work in the center. Since the electromagnetic field of the heart extends out 10 - 12 feet from our bodies, as we go deeper and open our hearts, we are all touched.

EKP helps restore our capacity as organs of perception. The skin is our largest organ, and a source of soul deep knowing, perception and expression. When our hearts and hands can work as one, we move beyond defenses safely and respectfully and find freedom, connection and expression.
Getting A Grip In a Climate of Money Chaos
In 1985, I started teaching a class called "Money, Work and Personal Purpose."  At the time, to look a money empowerment, meaningful work and how the two might be related was a new, visionary idea that seemed to make sense.
In the class, "getting grounded" around money was essential.  For any of us, we need to find a way to calculte, "what do you need to be a person in the world."  This includes not only food, clothing and shelter, but also the hobbies, activities and pursuits that bring us special, personal meaning.  If a person loves to travel and learn about new cultures, their money matrix needs to include room to do so.  If a person wants to be a pilot and be part of the Angel Pilots program, bringing donor organs to those who need them, s/he needs to have the resources to learn to fly and keep up his/her license.
Being able to define what brought meaning and what made an individual person happy was key to being able to define "how much is enough."  Once "enough" could be calculated, becoming conscious of money inflow and money outgo, was important to assure an individual was "investing their money" where they wanted to place it, rather than frittering away money unconsciously.
Practices like keeping a money journal, making an effort to live within one's means, and trying to put aside a little money each month as "savings" for future goals and projects were tools one could use to feel more empowered with money.
Since one really should practice what one preaches, I became very competent at all of these techniques, and managed my money very wisely.  When my son was born in early 1996, I realized I had a whole new set of planning goals, and wishing to be competent at these new goals, I consulted a financial planner.  The financial planner assured me that if I kept doing what I was doing, with my savings growing on average at 6 - 8% per year, by the time my son was ready for college, I would be in good shape.
In the 1990's, the stock market was in its great growth period, and a 6 - 8% growth rate over the long haul seemed like a reasonable idea.  But in 2000, everything changed.  In the past 11 years, the market has not grown the 6 - 8% average that my financial planner told me to expect.  In fact, the money that I put away in 2000 and invested in "reasonably safe" mutual funds, actually lost value!
It was a very rude awakening to discover that what I had set aside to help fund Alex's college education would have been safer under a mattress rather than invested in the very vehicles that had supposedly been created to help middle class people grow their savings. 

I remember intuiting that the market structure was undergoing a radical change, between globalization, the internet and the corruption taking place in the financial industry as greedy people tried to get rich at the expense of the middle class investor.  When Enron and several other companies crashed, I saw my small holding crash as well.
I approached a wide array of financial professionals to talk about what was happening in the market and what to do not to be boiled alive as a frog, and sadly, no one could even understand why I was asking all my questions, never mind help me look at what I could do to protect my financial future.
While I knew how to manage the money I had, figuring out how to tap into any of the financial industry's increasingly complex investment options required more than I could understand on my own.

Financial professionals would simply spout out "conventional wisdom," as they knew it saying, "just hold on to good funds for the long-term and everything will be okay," and "over time the market has a pattern and it will follow it."  I knew they were not updating their model to accommodate changing life conditions.  But I didn't know what else to do.  So, like so many other people, as the market rose and then eventually crashed, I boiled to death by "holding on for the long term."
This past month, in the Wall Street Journal, a financial planner did an analysis for a 50-something couple so they could make the most of their financial future.  Her first and most striking comment was, "You don't build a financial future by investing.  You build a financial future by earning as much money as you can and by saving as much as you can of what you earn."  Perhaps this is a reality-tempered model of financial planning, where in all good conscience, one can no longer tell a client, "just buy a good fund and hold on for the long-term and you can expect 6 - 8% annual return."
While she encouraged her client to invest at least 50% of their portfolio in bonds, her key message was not to count on growing their savings in the market.  As a middle class person, making enough money to save is itself a challenge.  And then preserving one's savings, never mind keeping up with inflation is a second challenge.  When banks and CD's give infinitessimal rates of return, they are hardly better than the old mattress.
I have had to come to terms the hard way with the reality that my gut told me market conditions were changing, but I could not garner the kind of coaching or advice I needed to protect myself from the changing conditions.  I can at least find peace in the fact that I at least did the work of my Money, Work and Personal Purpose class, so that the work I have been doing the past 25 years has been deeply meaningful, I have known what my values are, and invested my time, energy and money accordingly, and I have always lived within my means.  Perhaps that is the only kind of financial success I could have created in the chaotic market conditions of the past 11 years.
And perhaps, continuing to do each of these things, while protecting myself from continuing instability in the financial markets is the best grip I can have going forward.  Check in with me in another 10 years, and we'll see what I've learned!
©2010 Linda Marks        Please share your thoughts . . .

The Good Life Is Not a Problem-Free Life

Sustainability isn't about the quick fix or the cheap solution. Generally it means making a commitment and trying, as best we can, to honor it. In any worthwhile enterprise, from protecting the environment to preserving a relationship, we are going to encounter difficulties. The good life is not a problem-free life. In point of fact, the process of overcoming adversity often produces some of the most rewarding experiences we will ever have. Human beings need to be challenged to 'test their mettle,' as it were. Throwing in the towel at the first sign of trouble or small inkling of distress may be the easy thing to do, but it doesn't help our self-concept. Most of life's troubles can be overcome if we are willing to work through them with patience.

- Michael A. Schuler

A colleague of mine published the above quote in one of his messages to members of a group he runs.  I was struck by the power of the realism of the message.  In today's world, we are being sold ways of thinking and living that sound nice, but don't always hold up in reality.  Quick fixes and cheap solutions are desireable, even pursued with single-minded focus.  Yet, in the end, they are often not sustainable, and rarely solve the problem they were intended to fix.

We live in a throw away society, and when we are surrounded by an abundance of "commodities" we can "throw away" and "replace," when we hit any obstacle or difficulty, our first reflex is to dispose of what is challenging, and try to find an "easier" replacement While one could argue that with technology or material belongings, there may be some merit to this approach, what becomes horrifying is when we apply this very thinking to relationships and other living beings.

When Alex and I visited Buddy Dog, a favorite "no kill" shelter for cats and dogs, about a month ago, I was horrified by all the stories of how individuals, couples or families "threw away" their four-legged companion for short-sighted and often selfish reasons.  "This dog lived with a family that did not have time to give it proper exercise."  "The couple that owned this cat separated, and neither one of them could take her with them."  I found myself asking, "Did the family not know when they got their dog that it needed a certain amount of exercise," and "When the couple split could no one REALLY not take the cat with them?"
In a throw away society, when something gets complicated or doesn't work out the way one thought it might, cats and dogs get "disposed of" in shelter by the dozens.  And sadly, we do this to the people in our lives, including partners, family and loved ones.  Have we simply not matured to the point of understanding long-term commitments, or do we lack the resilience to roll with the inevitable obstacles in life?  Or have we simply swallowed, hook, line and sinker, that things are supposed to be easy if they are "right," and that the good life portrayed in magazines, full of perfect-looking people who never age, high paying jobs that appear from the ethers and MacMansions that never need to be painted or renovated, is not a fantasy, but something everyman and everywoman can attain just by waving their magic wand?

We desparately need more role models of people facing the challenging realities of today's world, be it a bad economy, high unemployment, skills needing to be replaced with the rapid pace of technological change, or the growing isolation that comes with a virtual culture, and showing us what their lives really look like.
Once upon a time, it was fine to be an "everyday hero," or an "everyman or everywoman hero."  We could relate to these role models, because their lives more realistically mirrored our ownAnd having more models where people work through challenges, stay the course, and learn and grow from their experience is essential.
Making til death do us part commitments to our four-leggeds and to our loved ones can give us a sense of inner stability and relational continuity that ultimately can give us real meaning, comfort and support.  And turning to one another to collectively find ways through the challenges of today's world are more likely to yield fruitful and sustainable solutions than trying to do it all alone. 

©2010 Linda Marks      Share your thoughts on this article . . .

The Power of Appreciation and Gestures of Goodwill

Comedian Rodney Dangerfield became well known for his routine, "I don't get no respect."  Perhaps, part of why so many people relate to his message, is that we are often unappreciated and underacknowledged for all our good works and efforts, be it the simple actions of daily life or larger projects and undertakings.  Too often, we are taken for granted, dismissed or passed over as those around us move on to what is "next."

In this context, one incredibly powerful tool we can all use to empower ourselves and others is appreciation.  How do you feel when someone tells you that something you have done has made a difference or impacted them in a positive way?  How do you feel when someone recognizes a thoughtful gesture you have made or even acknowledges how good it feels that you have noticed something that really mattered to them?
Appreciating and being appreciated both feel really good.  And when we consciously voice appreciation of those around us, we help create a more positive and loving environment.  Appreciation can be contagious.  If we keep looking for opportunities to appreciate others, in time, they will likely mirror back their appreciation of us.

In addition to telling a loved one, a co-worker or even the check-out clerk in the grocery store what we appreciate about them, we can consciously give others a "positive stroke," by offering "a gesture of good will." 

Gestures of good will come in many forms, from noticing that a friend loves a special kind of cereal, so that when s/he comes to visit, you make sure it is in your cabinet, to choosing to disengage from a stuck position in a disagreement, and acknowledge you really do hear and understand the other's point of view.  When we act in a way that shows another person that we understand them, hear them, value them, think about them and care about them, we give the message that they matter.  Being shown that you matter feels awfully good!

Often, it does not take a lot of work to offer a gesture of good will, mostly thoughtfulness and emotional attentiveness.  The return on investment of a thoughtful gesture or emotionally attentive action is tremendous.  And like appreciations, gestures of good will are mutually empowering for the giver and receiver.

Just as we have daily practices of eating breakfast, going to work, and maybe taking a walk or going to the gym, we can build appreciations and gestures of good wills into our daily life.  What might it be like if you tried to appreciate a loved one once each day?  How might you feel if once a week you offered a gesture of good will to someone you cared about or even a stranger?  Perhaps this is the spirit of the "commit random acts of kindness" bumper sticker.
In the old days before transponders and the FastLane, it always felt like a special treat when the person in front of me paid my toll on the Massachusetts Turnpike.  Sometimes it even inspired me to do the same for the person behind me!  Passing the good energy forward can send a wonderful ripple of healing and connection out into the world.

Add your thoughts on:

My first blog at will still be active, but it is built in forum software, which many people find more cumbersome to use than official "blog" software.

In an effort to cultivate more dialogue in more contemporarily relevant ways, my new blog at is user friendly, and even something you can subscribe to.
Please let me know what you think of this new blog.


Linda Marks

phone: (617) 965-7846